06 May 2013, Abuja – Nigeria’s House of Representatives Committee on Environment has lamented the adverse effect of gas flaring, saying the practice was impacting on the sanity of the environment and costing the nation huge revenue loss.
Chairman, House Committee on Environment, Hon. Uche Ekwunife, made this known when she led members of the committee on a working visit to the Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, in Port Harcourt at the weekend.
A statement from her office quoted her as saying that visit was a follow-up on an earlier interactive sessions held between the commttee and the management of SPDC on the Ogoni clean-up and the December 2011 Bonga Oil spill.
According to Ekwunife, gas flaring had led the nation into huge economic loss over the years and the House would, therefore, bring it to a stop by increasing penalty for companies involved in the practice.
“Gas flaring is killing our environment and it constitutes a major source of economic leakage.
“For an environment like ours that we are trying so hard to preserve, this kind of practice is not in our best interest at all. I want to make it clear that the collective interest of the nation must be put above and beyond the interest of any individual or organisation.
“We would do everything possible to ensure that these activities are minimised and we shall do this by increasing penalties for companies that do not desist from this act,” the law maker said.
Managing Director, Mr. Motiu Sunmonu, in his address, commended the committee for the visit as he disclosed that the company was willing to partner the committee on finding lasting solutions to the oil spill challenges in the Niger Delta.
Alleging that most of the communities adversely affected by the Bonga oil spill were as a result of third party sabotage or theft, he affirmed that oil spill was costing the country great loss in revenue in addition to impacting negatively on the environment.
Sunmonu stated that SPDC has embarked on provision of emergency measures of water, health facilities and other community development initiatives to alleviate the plights of the people living in the affected areas.
He announced that his company had started implementing the United Nations Environmental Programme, UNEP, report on Ogoni land.